Sholom Lavin PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Sholom Lavin, born Stuart Roy Lavin and sometimes known as S.R. Lavin, died in hospice care on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. He was born in Springfield, MA, in 1945 to Frederick and Selma Lavin, and married Rosemary Dredge, of Los Angeles, in January of 1978. Stuart and Rosemary divorced in 1992 and remarried in 2000. Lavin was widowed later the same year. He is survived by his brother, Jeff Lavin, of Lehigh Acres, FL; six children David Lavin, of Hepzibah, GA, Matthew Lavin, of Pittsburgh, Raechel Lapidus, Hannah Cleveland, both of Cambridge, NY, Abby Lavin Fulks, of Appomattox, VA, and Selma Boutcher, of Valley Center, CA; and 17 grandchildren. Sholom often spoke the great joy that his grandchildren brought him late in life. A college professor and a writer, Lavin received his bachelor's degree in literature from American International College in Springfield, MA, in 1967 and a master's degree in literature at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, in 1970. He got his start as a poet during his time at Trinity and established ties with the small press community of western Massachusetts. His published collections of poetry include To a City Girl I have Forgotten (Heron Press, 1968), A Ballad of the Cinema Kid (Heron Press, 1969), Rothman's Secret Love Lament (Yorick Books, 1969), The Stonecutters at War with the Cliff Dwellers (Heron Press, 1971), Cambodian Spring (Heron Press, 1973), Journey to a Lone Star (Four Zoas Press, 1976), Big Meadow / New River (Jerusalem House, 1978), Let Myself Shine (Kulchur Press, 1979), and many others. Heron Press was founded by artist Bruce Chandler, a longtime collaborator and friend of Lavin's since junior high school. The Four Zoas Press was co-founded by Lavin and Dan Carr, of Ware, MA; together, they printed The Four Zoas Journal of Poetry and Letters, which published work by Gerard Malanga, George Oppen, Willam S. Burroughs, and Carr and Lavin, among many others. Carr and Lavin were awarded N.E.A. funding to support small press publications on many occasions between 1972 and 1982. After 1990, Lavin continued to write poetry but focused on fiction and nonfiction. Many of his monographs were published by Lady June Press or SynergEBooks, and are still available on He felt that Mahat, one of his recently published works, was one of his most important novels. In addition to working as a writer and editor, Lavin taught composition, public speaking and creative writing at several colleges in Vermont, including Castleton State College and Community College of Vermont; and he was a poet-in-residence at Clark University and Northampton School for Girls. After retiring from higher education, he continued to lead workshops, read his poetry, and play guitar at various venues, including The Knitting Factory (New York City), the Iron Horse (Northampton, MA), and numerous colleges, coffee houses, galleries and art centers. In lieu of flowers, Lavin’s family has requested contributions to the Sholom Lavin Memorial Fund at After funerary costs, any remaining donations will go to the Jewish Community Center of Pittsburgh, which has focused on crisis assistance in the wake of the October 2018 shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

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